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Elderly receive 'windfall' $1 GST compensation payment.

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Elderly Receive 'Windfall' $1 GST Compensation Payment Wayne Swan - Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services

Media Statement - 16 July 2000

Despite promising lump sum $1000 Aged Persons' GST bonus payments, thousands of older Australians have received letters from the Howard Government advising them of payments into their bank accounts of just $1 (see below).

The payments designed to offset the devaluation of savings held by aged persons have insulted many who have decided to use the money to 'thank' the Prime Minister for his Government's generosity.

Many who have contacted the Opposition will send thank you cards and letters conveying their feelings to the Prime Minister and the Treasurer.

Although expecting the maximum $1000 payment, many have received paltry amounts due to the fine print that governed the scheme.

Both pre-election material and other information distributed to householders in the run up to July 1 merely told of 'bonus payments of up to $1000 for people over 60'.

Tight means testing and other unfair rules have seen thousands receive tiny amounts of GST compensation.

The Government's own figures obtained by the Opposition through Senate Estimates has shown over 300,000 elderly Australians will receive a one off bonus payment between $1 and $50.

But these people may consider themselves lucky, with the government's information also revealing 43% of Australians over 60 will receive no payment at all!

While initially the Opposition was generous enough to credit the government that this group may receive payments of next to nothing (99 cents or less) Minister Newman has now said they will get nothing (since the minimum payment is $1.00).

It is a disgrace that this Government has treated elderly Australians with such contempt.

While it is bad enough imposing double taxation on Australians who have paid taxes all their life, the Government has added insult to injury by putting forward token offerings as compensation.

Bonuses For Older Australians

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Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.